UN envoy begins talks with Pakistan on Afghan-Iran crisis
Fri 09 Oct 98 - 13:44 GMT
ISLAMABAD, Oct 9 (AFP) - UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi started talks with Pakistan officials here Friday as part of his mission to defuse border tension between Iran and Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, officials said.
Brahimi, who flew in here Thursday after talks in Tehran with the Iranian government, met with the senior-most bureaucrat at the Pakistani foreign ministry, Shamshad Ahmed, and other senior officials.
Details of the meeting were not immediately available but official sources said the talks focussed on the crisis between Iran and the Taliban.
A reported border clash Thursday between Iranian troops and Taliban forces has given more urgency to his mission to ease the tension, an Afghan politician living here said.
Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister, is to spend four days in Islamabad.
He is expected to hold talks with Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz and call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his stay.
It was still unclear whether the Taliban would send representatives to Islamabad to meet with Brahimi who is not travelling to Afghanistan because UN officials are not authorised to do so for security reasons.
Brahimi is counting on Pakistan's influence with the Taliban to help achieve progress in his mission, sources said.
The Taliban, who now control more than 90 percent of territory in Afghanistan, have expressed bitterness over the non-recognition of its government by the UN.
The ousted Afghan government of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani still represents the country at the world body.
The Taliban government has offered a crackdown on opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan in return for recognition by the UN.
Iran-Taliban tension built up after the August 8 military takeover of the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif by the Islamic militia and the killing there of eight Iranian diplomats and a journalist.
Iran is demanding the killers be arrested and punished and the Taliban release around 40 Iranians held captive by the Islamic militia in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
|Back to News Archirves of 1998|
Disclaimer: This news site is mostly a compilation of publicly accessible articles on the Web in the form of a link or saved news item. The news articles and commentaries/editorials are protected under international copyright laws. All credit goes to the original respective source(s).